Season of diagnosis a predictor of cancer survival?

There are over 100 types of cancer known to affect humans. In developed countries, cancer is one of the leading causes of death

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Season of diagnosis a predictor of cancer survival?

Malignant neoplasms, or malignant tumors, are neoplasms with abnormal cell growth that have the potential to metastasize, that is, invade or spread to other parts of the body. This is one of the main differences from benign tumors, which do not spread.

There are over 100 types of cancer known to affect humans. In developed countries, cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Cancer survivors are at about twice as much risk of developing a second primary cancer as those who have never been diagnosed.

The increased risk is thought to be mainly due to the risk factors that led to the first cancer, in part due to treatment for the first cancer, and also due to increased screening compliance. Is Season of Diagnosis a Predictor of Cancer Survival? Results from the Zurich Cancer Registry, study published on the Nutrients, explained: "In Switzerland, there is a large seasonal variation in sunlight, and vitamin D deficiency is relatively common during winter.

The season of diagnosis may be linked to cancer survival via vitamin D status. Using data from the Cancer Registry of Zurich, Zug, Schaffhausen , and Schwyz with more than 171,000 cancer cases registered since 1980, we examined the association of the season of diagnosis with survival for cancers including prostate, breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma, and all sites combined.

Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the differences in the all-cause mortality by the season of the diagnosis.Winter was used as the reference season. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for all the cancers combined and for prostate (in men ), breast (in women), colorectal, lung cancer, and melanomas, separately.

A diagnosis in summer and/or autumn was associated with improved survival in all the sites combined for both se*es and in colorectal, melanoma, and breast cancer in women. Our study results suggest that a cancer diagnosis in summer and/or autumn is associated with a better prognosis.

The improved seasonal survival coincides with the seasonal variation of sun-induced vitamin D, and vitamin D may play a protective and beneficial role in cancer survival."